Archive for Friday, July 9, 2004

Class bias

July 9, 2004


To the editor:

Noel Koch in "U.S. needs the draft back" (Journal-World, July 6), states there are only a "few good arguments" to fight reinstatement of the draft compared to a "surfeit of good ones" to restore it. Among the small number of logical rebuttals against the restoration of the draft concerns social class.

Contrary to Koch, class distinctions do not become obsolete with a random military lottery. Many can recall the various ways in which upper-middle-class and upper-class families used their resources and power to keep their called children out of the Vietnam conflict. Currently, there's an overwhelming disproportionate number of poor and minority people serving in our military, not because they are overzealously patriotic but rather because they lack opportunity elsewhere.

Koch enlisted because he lacked education and sought opportunities for advancement in the armed forces and, indeed, enlistment can provide excellent economic and social advancement, but why must poor and working class families resort to this outlet when individuals from more affluent social positions are simply handed such prospects in the public school system, for instance.

As a socialist, I believe a mandatory draft for all individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 would serve any nation, and in some countries, it actually does. However, reinstating a draft in the class-biased United States in the hopes of creating a more reflective military population will create precisely the opposite due to the many loopholes and exemptions built in to benefit the rich and, literally, kill the poor.

Krista Horning,


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